Disclaimer: Laws change, so consult attorney for updates.
Adopting a baby or child can be one of the most rewarding experiences of your life. There are thousands of babies, children, and adolescents in the United States and around the world who need a family. Some are healthy infants, and many are children with special needs, including physical, emotional, or mental disabilities.
There are two types of adoptions: open and closed. With an open adoption, the birth mother, and possibly the birth father, know something about the adoptive parents. They might even meet and exchange names or addresses. In a closed adoption, the birth mother and adoptive parents do not meet each other or know each others' names.
Federal and state laws that apply to adoption require certain steps to be followed prior to the finalization of an adoption. It is important to have a Michigan adoption lawyer to represent you in the adoption process. Matthew Van Epps is qualified in all areas of adoption law and can assist you in avoiding any adoption complications.
The following are some common adoption terms:
- Adoption Agency. An organization that is licensed in the state or states where it transacts its business, which is to assist in placing children needing parents with adoptive parents that are looking for children. Agencies exist in a wide variety of organizational forms, including non-profit, not-for-profit, for-profit, and governmental agency. Although the legal impact of the organizational or business structure of an adoption agency may be different, the services that they are licensed to provide are generally very similar.
- Open Adoption. Open adoption means that the birth mother and adopted family know who each other are. Even in an open adoption, the birth parents' legal rights of guardianship are terminated, and the adoptive parents become the legal parents.
- Closed Adoption. Closed adoption (also called "confidential" adoption and sometimes "secret" adoption) is the process by where an infant is adopted by another family, and the record of the biological parent(s) is kept sealed.
- Guardian Ad Litem, A legal guardian is a person who has the legal authority (and the corresponding duty) to care for the personal and property interests of another person.
- Foster Care. A term used for a system in which a minor who has been made a ward is placed in the private home of a state certified caregiver referred to as a "foster parent".
- Adoptive Parents. The person who adopts a child of other parents as his or her own child.
- Birth Parent. A biological as opposed to an adoptive parent.
The Law Office of Van Epps & Van Epps provides personalized legal services for couples and individuals who are considering adoption or assisted reproductive technologies to build their family. Recognizing the sensitive nature of family planning, Attorney Matthew Van Epps works closely with each client. He provides legal advice, counseling, and representation to make sure her clients have the answers they need to make informed decisions on their family building journey.
Matthew Van Epps can assist adoptive parents, birthmothers, or agency representatives involved a variety of scenarios:
- Couple or single parent adoption
- Stepparent adoption
- Legal guardian matters
- Parental rights termination
- Non-traditional adoptions
To help ease the stress of choosing the attorney best for you, we offer a free 15 minute consultation. Call Van Epps & Van Epps today at (989) 723-6777, or complete the contact form provided on this site to arrange for your free consultation.
Contact us for your free consultation today